If we’re to take the “collective right” explanation on its face, then the Second Amendment created a right that the states are powerless to execute, that the Federal government has no duty to provide, and that would be useless and oxymoronic if the latter did so anyway. If one spends five minutes thinking about the “collective right” theory, it quickly becomes apparent that the individual right is the only one that can possibly function appropriately, and is thus the only right that the amendment was ever intended to protect. To put it bluntly, the “collective right” approach makes no sense.

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.

–James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, 1792

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy. … Interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans – a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

–Senator Barack Obama, March 2006

Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.

–George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

If only there were means available to ensure Congresscritters always returned to the general mass of people and had to live exactly as the general mass do.

As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight.

–Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Not enslaving future generations to debt: common sense in 1776, unheard of in 2013.